Daughter of Time Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2431 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature

Tey enthusiastically defends Richard III by attacking historians "for their credulity and ignorance of human nature" and Tey makes "large claims for the ability of novelists and painters to uncover and represent the truth about persons and events" (Kelly, 136). The suggestion here is that historians have bias but novelists are objective investigators that are not encumbered with the permanence of history.

The truth about Tey and this novel is that history can be changed based on when it is researched and written -- not based on when it happened. In this novel -- though it was fictional and clearly historical in substance -- Tey made sure that the actual historical records were researched, primary sources when available. Martha Hailey DuBose writes that Tey had her fictional protagonist Grant and his American assistant "…investigate the real record, using increasingly sophisticated research sources"

(DuBose, 2000, p. 274).

Those sources allowed Tey (through Grant) to base conclusions that Richard III was not a murderer on "…the evidence they accumulated"; at the outset of Grant's interest, he only has a hunch but then, true to his detective training, instinctively he responds to his hunch (DuBose, 274). Once the hunch leads Grant to substantive evidence in the primary documents, he "…plows through clues and red herrings, lies and alibis, to reach a logical conclusion" (DuBose, 274).

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For those that know their English history, what Grant / Tey discover should not be a surprise, DuBose explains, but moreover this is a lesson that delves into the true investigative process. This novel is in fact an "historical police procedural" (DuBose, 274). History as a setting for mystery worked very well for Tey, DuBose explains. Also, DuBose offers good advice for readers of mystery novels and for those interested in history per se: "…no thinking person should simply accept historical 'facts' without knowing the motivations of the fact-finders and the context of events (274).

Term Paper on Daughter of Time Everybody Knows Assignment

And while this is Tey's most famous book -- and was "an immediate success" -- DuBose insists that it is either "loved or hated" by readers but rarely does it not "hold the interest of anyone who gets into it" (274).

The dialogue is very tightly written and Tey manages to get tremendous narrative mileage out of the conversations. On page 130, Grant asks a porter (who has just brought him a note from his American helper Carradine), "What do you know about Richard the third?" The porter asks if there is a prize for the right answer. Grant says no, he just wants to know what a citizen remembers about Richard III (and obviously to see if the centuries of misinformation has taken a toll on everyone he queries about Richard III). "…Just the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity," Grant explains, that's all he wants from the porter (Tey, 130).

"He was the first multiple murderer," the Porter replied. Grant shoots back, "Multiple? I thought it was two nephews" (Tey, 130)

"No, oh, no. I don't know much history but I do know that. Murdered his brother, and his cousin, and the poor old King in the Tower, and then finished off with his little nephews," the porter added. Grant said, "If I told you he never murdered anyone at all, what would you say?" (Tey, 130).

The porter replied, "I'd say that you're perfectly entitled to your opinion. Some people believe the earth is flat. Some people believe the world is going to end in A.D. 2000," the porter continued (Tey, 130).

The author uses this passage -- and others -- to show human nature. Grant is finding out that people are locked into their ignorance; they have either been misled or they simply bought into the hype notwithstanding the fact that their facts are wrong. This may show that Tey has bias against ignorance, and is determined to show that human flaw in an important novel.

In conclusion, this is an important fictional work because: a) it is truly an investigative historical novel based on issues important to society hundreds of years ago; and b) it actually brings to light new facts about English history, facts which allow the record to be straight, and which elevate Tey's literary standing to a higher place.

Works Cited

DuBose, Martha Hailey. Women of Mystery: The Lives and Works of Notable Women Crime

Novelists. New York: Macmillan, 2000.

Gale Online Encyclopedia. "Overview: Daughter of Time." Retrieved July 28, 2012, from Literature Resource Center.

Harris, Karen. "The Daughter of Time." Booklist, 97.17. Literature Resource Center, 2001.

Kelly, R. Gordon. "Josephine Tey and Others: The Case of Richard III." In The Detective as

Historian: History and Art in Historical Crime Fiction, Volume 1. Madison, WI: Popular

Press, 2000.

Tey, Josephine. The Daughter of Time. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1953.

Townsend, Guy M. The Mystery Fancier (Vol. 8 No. 5) September-October 1986. Rockville,

MD: Wildside Press, LLC: 2010.

Winks, Robin. "Mysteriously." In The Mystery Fancier (Vol. 8 No. 5) September-October 1986.

Guy M. Townsend, Editor. Rockville, MD: Wildside Press LLC, 2010.

Karen Harris, "The Daughter of Time," 2001, Booklist 97.17, Retrieved from Literature Resource Center.

Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1953) 106.

R. Gordon Kelly, "Josephine Tey and Others: The Case of Richard III, in The Detective As Historian: History and Art in Historical Crime Fiction, Volume 1, Ray Broadus Browne and Lawrence A. Kreiser, Editors (Madison, WI: Popular Press, 2000) 135.

Guy M. Townsend, The Mystery Fancier (Vol. 8 No. 5) September-October 1996. (Rockville,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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